About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Telling stories, opening doors, and being unforgettable

Telling stories, opening doors, and being unforgettable were my three take-homes from uLearn this year.

For the entire day one I indulged in Jason Ohler.  Hanging on every word of his key note, then attending both of his breakouts. I first became intrigued with Ohler after watching  It's About where I was very much taken by the line:

Yet we TEST through text about facts that we will probably never remember

Ohler reinforced many of the ideas that I have around assessment.  One striking example came from a tale he told about his entry into music education. Luckily he had a teacher who deviated from systemic requirements and opened doors:

The system was that you had to be able to read music to get into the course.  However, Ohler's teacher didn't care what the system said and gave Ohler a listening test instead.

We have a lot to learn from this.  The system may say that a student's/school's/teacher's "success" and "next steps" are measured by Eurocentric Archaic Standardised test scores.  Yet we are in a time where we can open more doors that we ever have before.

But is it cheating if we ignore the standards and let children do what they are passionate about despite their test scores? Is learning linear?  Do children really have to do things in the order that a matrix or teacher dictates? Who or What should decide what their next step is? Should it really be a standardised assessment tool?

Is giving a kid a different 'way in' or opening a different door cheating? Do you have to write music before you can make music? Do you have to know how to measure before you build a tree house? Do you have to know the concept of 3 before you can learn about a triangle?

As Kevin Honeycutt said,
"Is a wheelchair ramp cheating? Is a speech to text app cheating? If we can give kids an onramp, then shouldn't we?"

All four of the Key Note speakers showed at least one of their old school photos and told stories about the teachers that they absolutely adored.

I left hoping that one day one of my students will talk about me with an authentic twinkle in their eye.  And if deviating from the system, rattling cages, and opening new doors is the way to do it - then that is what I will do.

Be UnForGettaBle!